Jan. 18, 2014
Seton Hall 67, Georgetown 57
Verizon Center - Washington, D.C.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III
On GU's scoring struggles late in the second half...
We have to adjust, adapt and change a lot of things, as a coaching staff, as a team and try to figure that out. We will. We're undermanned, but that's not an excuse. We have enough pieces where we can figure out how we have to continue to play differently with who we have.
On Georgetown's defense allowing Seton Hall to shoot 11-of-20 from three-point range...
We have to continue to work at (our perimeter defense). The two questions are tied together in that we have guys that are now being forced to play positions that they haven't in the past. With (Seton Hall) you go into the game saying, "let's take away the three's, that's what they do," but we just did not execute that part. For the second time, I think our breakdowns on defense, as much as we're not scoring points, our breakdowns on defense led to frustrations on offense...Them getting easy shots, them getting open shots. We collectively have to go back and try to figure it out. We're not the same group that we thought we were going to be at this point. It's not an excuse, that's real, so now we have to figure out the best way for this group to win.
On D'Vauntes Smith Rivera and Markel Starks shooting struggles and minutes played...
After a day like today, it's easy to say they're playing too many minutes. We have to find a way to get them some blows and hold on when they're not in there. They have the responsibility to score points for us, but we have to help them and they have to help everyone else.
On Georgetown's run at the end of the first half...
You've heard it through sports, at least in basketball, you hear that when your offense is good, your defense gets better. This group is almost like the opposite. When our defense is good, our offense gets better. We have to find ways to play better defense and together we'll figure out how we're going to improve.
Jabril is not going to be back anytime soon. What that means I don't know, but it's going to be weeks before he's back and we don't know about Josh...We can and we will figure it out, but we have to adjust everything that we do.
On Seton Hall...
They're full strength now. With Eugene Teague back and Fuquan Edwin having a lot more pep in his step, he seemed much more healthy today than he has been watching him on tape, so they're a much different team with Teague back in the game. He can control so much in the paint and with Edwin closer to 100-percent, they're a much different team.
On Mikael Hopkins...
I thought Mikael played with an energy and a passion that I probably have never seen him play with. I told him walking down the hall that we wasted the best game of his career. The kid had 15 rebounds...If he can play with that energy and that passion that's a step toward what we need to figure out.
Junior center Mikael Hopkins
On individual performance today...
I just came out there being aggressive. I really focused on attacking the glass, offensively and defensively, But it still wasn't enough because they had fifteen offensive rebounds, which we can't allow to happen. So we just have to focus on crashing the boards and closing out.
On what changed for you guys offensively those last ten minutes...
Guys were still getting open looks but the ball wasn't going in the basket. We just couldn't hit the open shots. The way teams defensively close down me and Nate makes the offensive not run as smoothly, so we just have to work on that in practice. It's something we need to get better at.
Seton Hall Head Coach Kevin Willard
Is this the type of performance you imagined pulling off?
"Yeah I mean I told the guys after in the locker room I expected to win this game just because we had five good days of practice and I saw some guys who weren't playing overly well - like Fuquan - started playing much better - him and Geramipoor had more bounce, and obviously having Eugene back for us, it's a difference-maker it's hard to explain. We run so much stuff through him just having him out there makes a huge difference for us."
On the intensity of his defense in the last ten minutes of the game...
"Yeah I thought we did a good job. You know again we had five days preparation and our guys were really focused in. I think Smith-Rivera and Starks are probably two of the best guards in the country, as a tandem they're one of the best in the country, and I challenged these guys to try to stop them and I thought we did a great job of making the shots they made were tough shots and we tried to make other guys make some shots and these guys really worked hard at it."
On Edwin's play both offensively and defensively...
"Yeah I mean five steals is probably three light than he's used to getting. It's been very frustrating for Fuquan over the last three weeks because he's been playing and battling for the team but he's been playing - probably started at 70% and now he's getting back probably still not 100% yet I'd say he's still probably 90% but he's working his way back in. He's been frustrated, the team's been frustrated because we expect so much out of him but I started seeing this week in practice his game started coming back a little bit and he's still a little bit away but he's not too far away. You know he's starting to get his body in shape and five steals today - he had eight the other night, he had four the other night - I mean that's kinda what he does, he's known as one of those guys who can defend so again having him healthy, having Eugene out there, and having Aaron available to us makes a huge difference for us - we haven't had that since in the first five minutes of Oklahoma."
Did having Eugene back affect the way you wanted to play today?
"No we just kind of went back a little bit, I didn't want to throw the ball to him too much at the beginning just because I knew he was so excited to be back he was like a kid on Christmas, and I knew he'd be a little bit wild, and the second half I thought we went back playing the way we played before he got hurt: we came down we threw him the ball inside, we got him the ball and we were able to go inside and out, and I think that's why we shot so well from three - we shot 55% against probably one of the best defensive teams in the conference."
Did you take advantage of this being the second straight game where Georgetown hasn't made a shot in the last ten minutes of the game?
"No again I look at, I'm not going to make an excuse for John because I know he doesn't make them but I know what it's like to play without starters, and when you don't have Trawick and you're playing with a big guy like Smith most of the year and all of a sudden you don't have that its tough, I mean it is hard so I look at this team, I think Georgetown is one of the better teams in the country but when you take two starters off a team that's played with it, and I know Trawick doesn't shoot it well but he is a tough defender, he is a tough kid - you take those two guys off the team - I did it for a month I had three starters out - you will lose games when you're up seventeen and you will blow leads because the stuff you used to run when you sustain leads you can't run anymore and it's frustrating, I can see the frustration on Johns face because there's things he wants to run that he can't run because you're without two starters and when you're without two starters in this league you're gonna get hurt."
On how he prepared his players for Georgetown's Princeton sets...
"We've played them a lot, and we played Rutgers a month ago and they don't run it quite the way John does, but they do so our guys are kind of familiar with it. I think we just kept it basic we broke it down to what we want to do with the guards. We always break our defense by what the big guys are gonna do and what the guards are gonna do so the guards had to focus on Smith-Rivera and Starks and the big guys had to help them out."
On Missed Free Throws...
"Yeah we had a conversation about that after the fifth one we missed in a row I said don't worry win or loose we'll have a nice time tonight together. The thing is I still want the ball in his hands and what I was most happy about was that he still wanted the ball in his hands. He didn't run away from it, he went to it and drew the contact and sometimes you just miss free-throws and we'll get back, he's sitting on his back foot a little bit and we'll just fix that."
Are you comfortable [being back on the court] at this point?
"You know it's still a little bit of a struggle, just trying to get my wind back in the game. You know that's why I'm just getting up and down in practice, just getting the reps up is what's key right now."
Regarding setting the school record for steals...
"It means a lot to me. It's an accomplishment to me. I was looking forward to doing it today and I'm happy we got the win."
On what was going through his mind in the second half...
"I just wanted to slow down a little bit, in the first half I started off a little rough I would say for the most part. I just wanted to the game to come to me, so I just wanted to be patient and just let the shots find me."
On how to explain all the missed free throws.
"I don't know exactly how to describe it I think I just had an off day today, everyone has an off day, not particularly usually on the free-throw line I think those are usually chippies for me but once we get back to campus I'm just going to take a lot of free-throws I'm sure he (coach) will make me take a lot of free throws."